Monday, December 30, 2013

Welcome, Welcome 2014!!

Mum, PahPea, Family and Friends!!!

Hello all!! I hope everyone had a SPLENDID Christmas! I know I did, being able to see all of you!! Highlight of my day!:) So I know I told the family this on Christmas but for those who do not know, I need to tell you a couple things that happened this week that I'll probably be referring to a few times throughout today's letter...
1. on Christmas day...I may or may not have dropped our car key down the elevator shaft. bad...:)  I was just twirling it on my big (toe) thumb and I dropped it. then it bounced. and it bounced again. and then it went down. Sister Edwards and I just stared at the ground in awe. then we laughed. then we stared in awe again. yikers...but it's ok. we made an apparatus out of a curtain rod and a broken hanger to try and fish it out. upon trying 4 different times, alas! it still didn't work! but friday morning I had a prompting to try one more time in a different way, and I had been praying for this for 1.5 days so I felt like this was God answering my prayers that we'll get the key out. but actually, we go down and instead of getting the key, the superintendent saw us and told us to stop. (and the thing going through my head at this time is from the white hand book "always be wise and mature in your conduct..." yikes...) anyways LONG story short, she helps us get a hold of a couple numbers for chevy dealers and the elevator guy. to call him in- $300. yeah no. chevy dealer? $100 and it'll take a week. At this point, I was getting a little discouraged, I'll be honest, but then sister edwards says, "hey. maybe they have an extra key in the office" so we call. and sure enough, they have one! :) I was thinking about the brother of Jared and how he asks God how to get light in the barges and He says to think of something and to bring it to Him. That's kind of how I felt. Also realizing that sometimes God prompts you to do something that won't work so you can know that he's helping you minimize your options to realize what really will work. I love how He works and although I don't understand how, it ALWAYS works! :)
2. We got transferred to Mississauga, about 15 away from Etobicoke, we white washed into each others areas so we're now in a new area and we're loving it!!!:)  (Note from Sheryl - "white-washing" an area means that both missionaries are new to that area.  In this case, Janelle and her companion switched areas with another Sister companionship, so they are both white-washing each others previous areas.)

Alright, now that you know that, let's go into QUESTION TIME!!!:)
1.  Besides skyping, what did you do on Christmas Day?
We had Christmas lunch with Bishop and his family and the zone leaders, and then for dinner we went over to the Brown's. In between those two appointments...we had to walk because I dropped the car key down the elevator bad...but that's ok! We talked to lots of people on the way! We may or may not have been a bit cold but we're still alive! :):)

2.  How did your "swapping apartments" go this week?
Went well! We're unpacking EVERYTHING today and making the apartment our own because we still feel that this whole thing is surreal. ha! 
3.  Are you now in a Ward or a Branch?
Ward with 9 missionaries (3 Spanish Elders, 2 Mandarin Elders, and 4 Sisters)
4.  How big is the congregation?
Not sure how many there are usually, but Sunday there were probably about 150 people. I'm really bad at estimating persons. sorry...
5.  How big is your new area?
just a bit smaller than Etobicoke, takes about 15 minutes to drive to one end of our boundary to another, whereas Etobicoke took about 20 minutes. 
6.  Have you received your "New Years" package that I sent to Etobicoke?
not quite yet but we're looking for it!:)
7.  Is there anyone in your teaching pool in Missisaqua?
Brian is the only one at the moment and I have not yet met him because we were on exchange on Saturday, but I'll meet him tonight.:) we're praying and working to find new people to teach, we're so excited to just hit the pavement here!!! :)
8.  Did you have a chance to say good-bye to friends in Etobicoke before moving?
Yeah, a few of them. Paul and Kristen took us out for breakfast and it was DELICIOUS! I'm glad I got to say ta-ta for now to them and a few others. Sadly I couldn't say goodbye to Kim because she went to Scarborough and wouldn't respond to our messages. :( But it's ok, I'll get a hold of her again someday!:)

9.  The biggest surprise on Skype was when I saw....
All the little ones!! they're so big! and seeing family skype into skyping and mom and dad, ah man, it was all just so great! :) love you all!!  (Note from Sheryl - in order to allow Janelle to "see" and talk to all of her siblings and their families, we used our computer to Skype her in Canada, then used the iPad to Skype those family members who live outside of Utah and held the iPad screen up to the computer camera.  Worked like a charm!!)  :0)
10.  My favorite part of Christmas Eve was...
doing the read a thon! We read, as a zone, the 4 Gospels and a couple sections of Doctrine and Covenants. I LOVED reading more about our Savior and hearing the 'many testimonies which have been given of Him'! :) So beautiful!
11.  My favorite part of Christmas Day was...
Skyping with you all! I love my family so so much!!! :) ps you're all just so stinking cute. mid aged and young, because there is no one old in my family! ;)
12.  Let me tell you about my new living arrangements...
it's in the basement of a sweet Indian family who are currently going to an Anglican church. They are SO precious!! we have our own kitchen, washroom and washer and dryer! definitely a plus! the stairs are a bit slippery as sister edwards will be the first to admit because she fell down them our first day. poor girl...:) It is a wonderful little basement apartment and we're super exicted to work in this area!
13.  The first thing Sister Edwards and I did when the power came on was...
scream out of excitement and she jumped in the shower only to scream again because there was no hot water....good times. :)
14.  Please tell Ernesto (who turned 32 yesterday).....
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERNESTO!!!!!!! remember, there's no old people, just mid aged people. ;) I love you hoodles and joodles and hope you had the greatest day of birth celebration in the whole wide world!!! LOVE YOU!
15.  My most spiritual moment of the week centered around...
Singing Silent Night for the Living Christmas Card to a members neighbors. They originally asked us to go away but upon finding out that we do believe in Jesus Christ and we were there to share testimony through music, they loved us! We both sang from our hearts and it was so apparent on their faces that they were feeling it as well. I love how God prepares some people over time to hear of our Savior and then of His Restored Gospel upon the Earth. I love seeing Him work in individuals lives, it's such a testimony to me that He is so aware of every one of us, every moment. How I love my Father in Heaven!
16.  My favorite teaching moment was....
Teaching Luanda back in Etobicoke. She's just so prepared and LOVES Jesus Christ. We read the introduction of the Book of Mormon and she was SO excited that this was simply another testament of the Lord, Jesus Christ that teaches the same Gospel Christ taught in Jerusalem. She asked "if they teach the same thing about the gospel and salvation, how come everyone doesn't know about it??" well luanda, that's why we're here, my dear! :) She's so in tune with the Spirit and I am so excited to continue seeing her progress from here in Mississauga. :)
17.  I am SO grateful for....
spare car keys 
office missionaries
Jamaicans. uh. I love them. :)
Sister Edwards and her constant positivity
Everyday to start fresh

Well, I need to head out but please know how much I love you! I sure do,
and God lives! Christ lives and They love us! Let us show to them we love them too by being exactly obedient in every aspect of our lives. If the Savior stood beside you....would you do the things you do? How great is our calling!!

Love for now and for ever,
Sister De Groot :)

MERRY CHRISTMAS from Sister Edwards and Sister De Groot!!!
Missionary Invitation: Upon making new years resolutions, make one for missionary work, maybe how many people you'll invite to meet with missionaries this year or monthly or quarterly, it's up to you. But I invite you to make missionary work a focus this year, let's reach out to those who are "kept from the truth only because they know not where to find it"! Love you all!

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